With a text by Inos Biffi based on The Catechism of the Catholic Church, this teaching resource presents the basic elements of the Catholic faith in four sections: The Creed, The Sacraments, The Commandments and Prayer.
Each section (set of two pages) is illustrated in a rich and vibrant style by Franco Vignazia.
The book is especially useful for parents who wish to accompany their children in learning the elements of their Catholic faith.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
God’s law for us
The purpose of this section is very simple: to teach Christian children the Apostles’ Creed. For everyone, regardless of age, the Apostles’ Creed is the symbol of faith, its identification card, so to speak. As we become adults and gradually develop a deeper understanding of faith, we are simply expanding our understanding of the precepts of the Apostles’ Creed, in its precise and precious formulas, which are ancient yet always new, and which were developed almost immediately and with great care by the Church. The Church repeats them always and never ceases to find new meaning in them.
For children, memorizing the Apostles’ Creed represents a significant and beneficial contact with the faith of their parents, of the Christian community in which they live. This section is designed so that parents or other adults can guide children through the explanation of the Apostles’ Creed offered here, expanding upon the content with their own comments. They will transmit with confidence and passion the faith that they in turn have received, knowing that they now can draw happily and fully upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The illustrations that accompany the text are direct and simple. This encourages children to visualize what they are reading and hearing. We hope that this synthesis of text and pictures will make the instruction here clear and concrete, and that faith will take root in both the minds and the hearts of the children who study this book, so that they may grow in both knowledge of the faith and good works.
Jesus sends his disciples to proclaim the gospel
When Jesus rose from the dead, before he ascended into heaven to be near his Father, he sent his disciples – his followers – to proclaim to all people the joyous announcement of salvation, which is the Gospel. After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to accompany the disciples on this mission. Those people who had faith would be saved.
The teachers of the faith – the apostles
Jesus had many disciples, and from among them he chose the twelve apostles. Peter was the first apostle and the leader of the group. The apostles did not replace Jesus but were his representatives here on earth. (Of course, Jesus is always present in the Church.) In Jesus’ name, and with the authority that they received from him, the apostles governed the church. The bishops are the successors of the apostles. They are led by the bishops of Rome, the Pope, who is the successor of Peter. Those who listen to them listen to Jesus Christ.
I believe in God the Father Almighty
Forever and above all, there is God – one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, forever and above all, there is the Trinity. No one has ever seen God, except Jesus, the Son of God. By coming to earth and becoming a man, Jesus revealed God to us. When Jesus was baptized, God clearly indicated his relationship with him. The heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and a voice spoke. It was the voice of the Father, who said, “This is my beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). This is the main precept of the Apostles’ Creed.
Creator of heaven and earth
God is all-powerful. He is the Creator who freely made all things from nothing – visible, like plants and animals, and invisible, like the angels. There was nothing until he created it. And without him, nothing would exist.
God is Love, and he looks after his creatures with love – particularly us, because we are made in his image. God is not the source of evil. Evil came into the world because of the rebellious angels like Satan and because of the disobedience of the first man, Adam. Because of Adam, all of us are born with the sign of that sin: the original sin.
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
God is the Father, and from eternity, Jesus Christ is his Son, the second Person of the Trinity. Saint John, the evangelist, said of Jesus, “In the beginning was the Word [meaning Jesus, who testified to God’s existence], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race” (John 1:1-4). Jesus was the cause, the model and the purpose of creation. And in a special way, man and woman were created in his image. Jesus is the Lord of all, because he loves and offers salvation to everyone, even those who do not yet know him.